A University experimental theater group produced seven plays in 24 hours this weekend at the first Play in a Day event.
The event was hosted by The Broccoli Project, a student-oriented theater troupe that produces plays throughout the year, according to the Facebook page. The event welcomed all students to write, cast and direct 10 minute original plays from 7 p.m. Saturday to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center.
Mackenzie Graham, event organizer and a Plan II and marketing sophomore, said all ticket profits from the shows will go toward allgo, a non-profit that supports queer people of color communities in Texas.
Student writers began Saturday night by randomly choosing three actors to star in their plays, and they received one prop that acted as a primary inspiration for their 10-hour night when writing their scripts. Writer Will Fynes said he approached the writing process without a plan and drew inspiration from his cast.
“Looking at the people you have and how they look, you can start imagining character dynamics and little quirks characters might have that could make your show more interesting,” biology sophomore Fynes said.
Student directors reconvened Sunday morning after writers turned in scripts to decide which show each of them would direct.
Director Rebekah Singleton said unlike past directing experiences where she chose her own cast, the eight-hour rehearsal limited her ability to work with unfamiliar acting styles. She said she emphasized the need for her actors to understand the characters if they are unable to memorize the script.
“If (actors) don’t have (the script) perfectly memorized, that’s less important for me,” said Singleton, a Plan II and sociology senior. “As an actor, if I don’t remember but I know what the character is trying to say, I can figure something out that will fit that scenario, and we’ll keep the story moving forward.”
Business senior Orhiane Savarese said the 24-hour time limit benefited her performance as an actor, because it allows her to react to situations instinctively rather than overrehearse her performance.
“As an actor, the more you repeat, the less authentic you become,” Savarese said. “For me, it’s easier to be authentic when I’m discovering the feelings of a character. When I’m acting, I program in my head, ‘Okay, this is the feeling I’m going to have now,’ while when I’m still trying to learn the play, it feels less staged.”
Editor’s Note: Mackenzie Graham previously worked at The Daily Texan as an engagement reporter.